Despite being amazingly popular in East Asia, the rhythm-based game never quite found its feet in the West. Sure, we’ve had a few over the years, but none seem to have stuck apart from those rickety old platform things you often find in the corner of seaside arcades. Which is a shame, as not only are they useful for musicians to brush up on their time-keeping, they’re also incredibly satisfying to play for the average gamer. The Smartphone seems to be the perfect format for the rhythm game; a short burst of play governed by laser-like concentration skills is the order of the day for many successful handheld device games. The latest in this line is Amazing Beat, a new, free app for iOS, which aims to get you up and moving with its catchy soundtrack and addictive play. Does it succeed?
In a word, yes. The soundtrack, first off, is wonderful. Comprising five tunes for you to choose from, it’s clear from the get go that these are not some stock music tracks bought in at the last minute. They’re actually great, prominently featuring slamming electro music with delightful melodies and lush textures that will have you coming back just to hear the track a second, third and fourth time. Headphones are definitely the way to go with this one. As the lynchpin that holds this app together, they make a fine centrepiece.
Built around these five tracks is the game itself. The engine of play is pretty simple and endlessly addictive. Amazing Beat will drop two sets of coloured shapes at you from the top of the screen. Your job is to separate them into their correct side of the screen; left is for the blue squares, right is for the pink circles. You tap the screen to guide the oncoming shape home. It’s up to you whether or not you do this on the beat, but you’re going to miss out on a lot of fun and personal worth by not doing so. Easy to grasp yet extremely difficult to master, the app gives you no second chances; one slip up and it’s game over. A stray finger will always seem to act autonomously, sending you reeling back to the menu page, a fresh score of zero and an inevitable next round.
It’s high tension stuff that makes for some great time-killing, while sharpening your time-keeping skills simultaneously. Addictive and challenging, this cool little app is worth checking out if you fancy yourself as a musician, or if you like those kind of co-ordination endurance apps that thrive on smartphones. Either way, Amazing Beat is well worth your time; provided you’re good at keeping it.
Click your fingers at the iTunes Store to get this app for free.